Depakote is a major advancement in the treatment of bipolar disorders. Depakote tablets consist of the active ingredient Valproate Semi sodium, which is a kind of medicine known as a mood stabiliser. Generic names are divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and valproic acid.
This drug is available in a variety of forms and dosages, including capsules, sprinkles and oral solutions. They are available in the form of 125, 250 and 500 mg tablets. Dosage depends on several factors, which include the problem being treated, the weight and age of the patient, and the patient’s response to the therapy. This medication must be used in the correct manner to keep the amount of medication in your blood constant.
Depakote levels are routinely followed through with blood tests to ensure that there is neither too little nor too much in your body system. Relatively little levels might not prove to be effective while high levels can be toxic.
This medication must be taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet, which can cause irritation to the mouth or throat.
What is Depakote used for?
Depakote is used to treat psychiatric illness known as bipolar affective disorder, or manic depression. People suffering from bipolar affective disorders experience unusual mood swings, which consist of episodes of abnormally high mood swings (mania) to those of abnormally low mood swings (depression). Depakote helps stabilise mood and prevents episodes of ill health by adding to a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which provides natural nerve calming in the brain and this natural chemical keeps the nerve activity in balance.
It is indicated for treating manic episodes which are affiliated with bipolar disorders. Manic episodes are periods of unusually expansive or irritable moods which are persistent for long periods of time. Significant symptoms of maniac episodes consist of the decreased need for sleep, inflow of large numbers of ideas in the brain, aggressiveness, and hostility.
Depakote is also prescribed for the prophylaxis of migraine headaches. However, it is not beneficial for treating migraine headaches.
What are common side effects of Depakote?
Patients taking Depakote might experience a small increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in people. For this reason, it is essential to seek medical advice if you are taking this medicine and are experiencing any changes in mood, feelings of hostility, restlessness, hyperactivity and distressing or suicidal thoughts.
This medicine might also cause skin reactions. You must inform your doctor know if you develop a rash or experience itching, or any other unexplained skin reactions. Before you start taking Depakote, you must tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any other type of allergies.
Serious side effects of Depakote include weakness alongside vomiting and confusion or fainting, the occurrence of easy bruising or bleeding (especially whilst urinating), fever, body pains and aches, swelling of glands, symptoms of flu, urinating lesser than usual, appetite loss, pains in upper stomach and dark urine, extreme drowsiness, hallucinations, vision changes and severe skin reactions.
Some common side effects which are less severe may include drowsiness as well as weakness, diarrhoea, instances of constipation and upset stomach, unpleasant taste in mouth, changes in menstrual periods, weight changes, enlarged breasts, tremors and significant hair loss.
What are the side effects of Depakote on children?
Children who take Depakote may experience side effects such as dizziness as well as drowsiness. These side effects may decrease with time as their body tried to adjust to taking Depakote. However, an essential way to decrease the drowsiness in children is to ensure that they get a sleep of at least eight to ten hours at night and take a nap during mid-day. If children take in cold or allergy medicines, it can increase sleepiness caused by taking Depakote. If dizziness and drowsiness is continuously present and starts interfering with daily routine activities, it is essential to contact your doctor.
Using Depakote may also lead to sensitivity to sun. Therefore, children should refrain from prolonged exposure to sunlight while using Depakote.
Moreover, children taking Depakote may experience discomfort in their stomach. Symptoms of this include diarrhoea and vomiting, constipation and stomach upset. These side effects may result in appetite loss which can lead to growth problems faced by children. Diarrhoea and vomiting can lead to instances of dehydration.
Headaches may be experienced by children who take Depakote. Children who experience headaches along with fever, body chills or flu may be undergoing a serious reaction to this medication and must immediately contact a doctor.
Depakote is more likely to cause liver damage which is fatal in some cases. This risk may be increased for children, especially for children less than two years old.
What are the side effects of Depakote men?
Men may experience serious side effects such as signs of infections which include fever or a sore throat. Furthermore, they may also suffer stomach or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite while taking this medication. You may also experience chest pains, easy bruising, irregular heartbeats, swelling on the hands and feet and eye movement which is uncontrolled. You must contact your doctor straightaway if any of these side effects occur.
Men using this medicine may experience nausea, vomiting, pains in the upper stomach, or appetite loss, dark coloured urine, stools which are clay-coloured, or jaundice. These symptoms may reveal early signs of damages caused to the liver or the pancreatic and need immediate medical attention.
What are side effects of Depakote on women?
Women may experience diarrhoea, drowsiness, loss of hair, blurred/double vision, changes in menstrual cycles, vision changes, dizziness, ringing in ears, slight shakiness in the form of tremors and weight changes. If any of these side effects are persistent, you must consult your doctor instantly.
Moreover, women may also experience critical liver problems, particularly if they face metabolic problems, serious seizures with mental retardation, or if they use more than one drug for seizures. If Depakote is being used for people experiencing these conditions, it should not be used in addition to anti-seizure medications. It is essential to carry out liver function tests before and during treatment occasionally.
What are the side effects of Depakote on pregnant women?
The most concerning birth defect associated with the use of Depakote by pregnant women is the malfunctioning or improper formation of the embryonic neural tube. Due to this, the infant is born with an incomplete spinal formation.
Additionally, there are a number of possible side effects that can affect an unborn foetus of a woman taking Depakote. A pregnant woman or one who is planning to get pregnant should avoid the use of Depakote due to several risks to the unborn baby such as cleft palates, spina bifida, hand malformations, undescended testes and abnormally developed ribs. Birth defects and developmental problems are a likely occurrence.
Women of childbearing age must discuss the risks affiliated with this medication on with their doctor, especially if it is prescribed for conditions other than seizure disorders (such as migraines). It may also negatively affect cognitive development in children who are born to mothers who take Depakote during pregnancy. Results from studies have revealed that these children possibly attain lower scores on cognitive tests embodying reasoning, intelligence and problem-solving skills, in comparison to children whose mothers used other different seizure medications during their pregnancy period.
Depakote can also be excreted into breast milk and may cause harm to a nursing baby. If you are breast-feeding, you must discuss this with your doctor before taking this medication.
It is recommended to have folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of certain birth defects.
What are the side effects of Depakote on the elderly?
The elderly are especially susceptible to experiencing the negative side effects of Depakote. Therefore, it should be started on a lower initial dose.
Excessive sleepiness is also a common side effect of Depakote in the elderly.
Anorexia due to lack of appetite is also a common side effect of Depakote pertaining to the elderly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposes that in clinical trials using this drug, it was found that nearly half of all elderly patients taking Depakote experienced reduced appetite and weight loss. This needs to be appropriately addressed since the lack of nourishment and nutrition can result in varying health complications and result in death if the situation is not given sufficient attention.
Dehydration, or the lack of fluid content in the body, is also a common side effect of taking this medication in the elderly. Patients taking Depakote should be closely monitored with tests to ensure that the nutritional needs are being met.